Members of the Crafton-Ingram Thrive steering committee and Pashek Associates’ Jim Pashek, Elaine Kramer and Claire Matway tromped all over the two boroughs on Saturday, May 14. Our goal was to look at community connections and understand ways to improve key routes or add new ones. Here are some of the main takeaways (below the photos):
- Getting out into the communities reminds you of what great communities we have and why connectivity is so important. Beautiful buildings, great tree-lined streets, interesting (or, in places, challenging) topography create terrific opportunities for walking.
- This particular walk helped illustrated how we can concentrate our efforts towards improved connectivity to particular areas of each borough, therefore keeping the plan realistic and affordable. Many potential improvements would be rather inexpensive.
- Each borough could promote designated walking/biking/exercise routes that are both scenic and safe.
- Online mapped routes of varying distances would be nice.
- Many pedestrian crossings could be improved to be more visible to vehicle operators, and therefore safer. Busy pedestrian crossings need additional visual stimuli, such as paving surface changes or flashing signals.
- Each borough could improve (and promote) pedestrian and bicycle connectivity through designated lanes on particular roads.
- Affordable landscaping improvements would create more inviting, and more clearly defined, walking routes. This could include new street trees on selected rights-of-way.
- There is opportunity for sidewalk improvements, and for the addition of sidewalks.
- During our entire 4.5 mile walk, there was not one garbage can available on the street to throw away a coffee cup.
- Benches distributed throughout designated walking areas could provide opportunity for rest, observation, and contemplation.
- Traffic speed and noise make some areas less desirable as walking routes.
- Some locations could connect new routes with existing trails such as Clearview Trail, the Chartiers Creek floodway road and the Chartiers Nature Conservancy.
- Outside of the connectivity issue specifically, we also noted vacant commercial properties in highly visible locations. It might make sense to create a tracking mechanism for commercial properties to provide potential tenants with useful information about availabilities.